USF spring game preview: First look at the Golesh era

Friday’s game will give fans a first look at new head coach Alex Golesh, who previously led the nation’s highest powered offense at Tennessee. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

A new era in USF football will debut on Friday with the 27th annual Spring Game, which will take place April 14 at Corbett Stadium.

This is the first time former Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh will take the field as a head coach for the Bulls, being joined by first year defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

Golesh had previously announced in a press conference on April 4 that he would not be revealing a full playsheet on Friday, rather coaching a more conservative game. Nonetheless, fans will anticipate the offensive-minded coach’s first game in green and gold.

“I just want to see guys compete and play hard… and not do anything crazy. I want to see a packed Corbett [stadium] and a bunch of people having fun,” Golesh said. “I think it’ll be the first time I’ll get to meet face-to-face with some fans. I think it should just be a fun night of us celebrating the end of spring ball.”

The Bulls will feature four primary returning starters on offense including senior tackle Donovan Jennings, who is returning from a season-ending leg injury suffered last season against Louisville.

Senior quarterback Gerry Bohanon, junior receiver Khafre Brown and junior tight end Gunnar Greenwald returns to a Bulls teams hoping to rebuild after a one win season.

The team’s most experienced player, senior running back Kelley Joiner, will rejoin the team after missing all of last season with a broken foot.

A question still remaining unanswered is who the Bulls’ starting quarterback will be for the 2023 season. Bohanon is assumed to take the mantle after starting seven games last season, yet Golesh has not announced an official starter. Junior Katravis Marsh and redshirt freshman Byrum Brown started the last two games of the 2022 season after Bohanon suffered a shoulder injury.

Bohanon is still rehabbing from his injury sustained against Tulane last season and is not expected to start on Friday.

Marsh medically retired due to a knee injury sustained last season, as announced on his Instagram on Wednesday.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Archie is also vying for playing time after transferring from Coastal Carolina. Archie saw action in two games for the Chanticleers last season.

Brown garnered attention after throwing for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first career start against Tulsa. He followed that with another three touchdown performance in the thrilling War on I-4 finale against UCF.

Bohanon, however, was a highly touted transfer out of Baylor when he joined the team in 2022. He threw for 1,070 yards along with six touchdowns and six interceptions last season.

After the losses of junior running back Brian Battie and sophomore receiver Jimmy Horn Jr., the Bulls offense will feature a variety of new faces.

USF will debut a number of newly arrived transfers. Sophomore tight end Weston Wolff and junior receiver Seth Jones look to be big contributors in Golesh’s retooled and high powered offensive scheme.

At Tennessee, Golesh’s offense led the nation in scoring, points per game, yards per play, and points per possession. He brings junior offensive lineman and Volunteers transfer RJ Perry to solidify an offensive line that will be the core of the team.

Corbett Stadium will host this year’s spring game for the first time since 2019 without the unavailability of Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff on Friday will begin at 7 p.m.